Author Topic: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)  (Read 103367 times)

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #40 on: 04/01/2012 12:38 AM »
Got my invitation and lapel pin!  Psyched to see Discovery in her new home in a couple of weeks!



Any info you can disclose?  ;)  See you up there!

Online wolfpack

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #41 on: 04/02/2012 01:38 PM »
Got my invitation and lapel pin!  Psyched to see Discovery in her new home in a couple of weeks!



Any info you can disclose?  ;)  See you up there!

This is something for NASM members at a specific membership level and above (something like $500/yr contribution level). I am a member, but not at that level. I did call NASM and ask about upgrading. They confirmed it is possible (telephone only, no internet) and the the closeout date for this event would be April 6. That was a couple of weeks ago, so treat it as stale information. Space is limited for this event.

It was a non-starter for me, as they would let you bring ONE guest. I am traveling with wife and child. Even at 20 months of age our daughter counted as TWO guests. :(

Offline scotty125

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #42 on: 04/02/2012 07:20 PM »
Is the reception and breakfast scheduled for Udvar-Hazy or the main facility?  Since they're billing this as a fly-by event that might shed some light on the flight plan...
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Offline scotty125

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #43 on: 04/02/2012 07:25 PM »
One other thing...it seems to me that in the good old days, the viewing threads were a great source of "local knowledge" for those of us out-of-towners.  You know, restaurants, pubs, night life, etc.  Anyone care to share any hot spots?  I'd be interested in both the area around Udvar-Hazy and the Mall...
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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #44 on: 04/02/2012 07:29 PM »
Is the reception and breakfast scheduled for Udvar-Hazy or the main facility?  Since they're billing this as a fly-by event that might shed some light on the flight plan...

IIRC, they got the Dulles observation tower for it. Can't find any links on NASM website, which tells me it's probably all filled up.

Offline jsmjr

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #45 on: 04/02/2012 09:06 PM »
One other thing...it seems to me that in the good old days, the viewing threads were a great source of "local knowledge" for those of us out-of-towners.  You know, restaurants, pubs, night life, etc.  Anyone care to share any hot spots?  I'd be interested in both the area around Udvar-Hazy and the Mall...

Hi, Scotty!  I live in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and have some ideas for those hanging out on the Mall to watch the flyby or perhaps hit some museums - for example, http://www.nasm.si.edu/.  Dulles is like another world to me, so I can't be too much help there.  Be aware that traffic can be nightmarish traversing the roughly 28 miles (http://g.co/maps/hw4d4) between the two, especially during the Washington area's extended rush hour period.  (Note: I-66 is HOV-2 only inbound in the AM, outbound in the PM.)

The thing to know about DC is that the National Mall doesn't have much to offer besides the Smithsonian museums and monuments.  The best areas for restaurants, bars, and entertainment are towards the north. A good one nearby is at Chinatown/Gallery Place metro.  Check out especially 7th St NW, from E Street to I Street.  (Don't venture south of the Mall, it's all drab government offices.) 

Gallery Place Metro station is served by the Red and Green/Yellow lines, which give you a lot of options.  Red line connects you to Dupont Circle, Woodley Park-Zoo and Union Station.  Green line reaches Navy Yard/Stadium, and the Nationals are playing in town all week.  (Against the Astros 4/16-19... coincidence?)  Green and Yellow lines also serve the U Street nightlife area - U St NW from 15th St to 9th St, plus north and south along 14th St NW.  Another good neighborhood hangout is located along P St NW between Dupont Circle and Logan Circle.

The website http://www.stationmasters.com/System_Map/system_map.html has good station area maps, and I recommend using it to plot your Metro travels.  Also, if you're hopping around downtown consider using our excellent bike share system (http://www.capitalbikeshare.com/) and network of bike lanes. 

Finally, the NYTimes always has good articles on what to see and do when traveling, notably their famous "36 Hours In..." series.  Look for it here:  http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/north-america/united-states/washington-dc/overview.html

When I get a chance, I will try to revise this post with additional information.  Feel free to PM me with any specific inquiries or requests.  Maybe we can organize a gathering in DC during the Discovery festival. And by all means, anyone who lives closer to Dulles can chime in with relevant tips.
« Last Edit: 04/02/2012 09:29 PM by jsmjr »

Offline psloss

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #46 on: 04/03/2012 04:57 PM »
Hey guys, I could drive over to KSC to watch Discovery leave. Will there be a fly around? Where can I get the best view of an SCA/Shuttle leaving? I imagine that I could get a lot closer and with it's slower movement, much  better pictures.
The only thing I've heard is that the ferry would take-off early (daybreak).  (Subject to change and weather.)  Not sure how that would affect the flight path out of the area, but they may be leaving at 6:30 am local or thereabouts if that's the case.
jacqmans posted the media advisory that has a set time for ferry departure: 7 am local on the 17th.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24479.msg880001#msg880001

(As the advisory notes, departure will be televised on NASA TV.)
« Last Edit: 04/03/2012 04:59 PM by psloss »

Offline cycleroadie

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #47 on: 04/03/2012 05:18 PM »
Is the reception and breakfast scheduled for Udvar-Hazy or the main facility?  Since they're billing this as a fly-by event that might shed some light on the flight plan...

IIRC, they got the Dulles observation tower for it. Can't find any links on NASM website, which tells me it's probably all filled up.

There were never any links that I am aware of, invitations were sent to Mercury Friendship 7 level and above members directly.
Lloyd
"As we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came, and God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. God bless the crew of Apollo 17." - Commander Gene Cernan , Apollo 17

Offline jsmjr

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #48 on: 04/03/2012 06:13 PM »
jacqmans posted the media advisory that has a set time for ferry departure: 7 am local on the 17th.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24479.msg880001#msg880001

(As the advisory notes, departure will be televised on NASA TV.)


For those of us waiting anxiously in Washington, DC, the relevant tidbit is this:  "Tuesday, April 17 Discovery departs at first light (approximately 7 a.m.)"

We can confirm takeoff via NASA TV, and then follow NASA 905 on FlightAware. http://flightaware.com/live/flight/NASA905  For commercial airliners flying the similar MCO>DCA route, the flight time is typically right around 2 hours.

For those positioned on the National Mall and wanting to monitor the situation, there is free public Wi-Fi that is reportedly available from 3rd St to 14th St, including around NASM.  See http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/aroundthemall/2010/09/this-just-in-free-wi-fi-on-the-national-mall/.  Google Earth view: http://3ddc.dc.gov/dcnet/wifi/  A map of all free sites is available here: http://wifi.dc.gov/

Offline psloss

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #49 on: 04/03/2012 06:49 PM »
We can confirm takeoff via NASA TV, and then follow NASA 905 on FlightAware. http://flightaware.com/live/flight/NASA905  For commercial airliners flying the similar MCO>DCA route, the flight time is typically right around 2 hours.
A commercial airliner is not the first thing I'd go to for comparison.  This is not a typical end-of-mission ferry flight, but still those fly significantly lower and slower than commercial flights.  We'll have to see about differences in flight rules (if any) that might allow for changes.

Only thing I've seen so far (unconfirmed) is 3.5 to 4 hours.

Offline jsmjr

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #50 on: 04/03/2012 07:16 PM »
We can confirm takeoff via NASA TV, and then follow NASA 905 on FlightAware. http://flightaware.com/live/flight/NASA905  For commercial airliners flying the similar MCO>DCA route, the flight time is typically right around 2 hours.
A commercial airliner is not the first thing I'd go to for comparison.  This is not a typical end-of-mission ferry flight, but still those fly significantly lower and slower than commercial flights.  We'll have to see about differences in flight rules (if any) that might allow for changes.

Only thing I've seen so far (unconfirmed) is 3.5 to 4 hours.

The T-38 practice flights this Thursday are supposed to be from 9:30 to 11.  Since the location of the sun matters for photographers, my working assumption is that the SCA flyby is within that same general timeframe on the 17th.  (Probably closer to the end, since the T-38s might take a bit of time to read the lay of the land before making practice runs.  Not too many pilots have any familiarity with overflying P-56 prohibited airspace, which is also quite close to DCA's northerly approach/takeoff lanes.)

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #51 on: 04/03/2012 07:24 PM »
Hey guys, I could drive over to KSC to watch Discovery leave. Will there be a fly around? Where can I get the best view of an SCA/Shuttle leaving?

Say Farewell to Discovery
http://kennedyspacecenter.com/discovery-fly-out.aspx

On Tuesday, April 17, guests will have the opportunity to witness the departure of Discovery from the Visitor Complex. A limited number of tickets will be available to witness the fly-out from the actual Shuttle Landing Facility.

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #52 on: 04/03/2012 08:14 PM »
We can confirm takeoff via NASA TV, and then follow NASA 905 on FlightAware. http://flightaware.com/live/flight/NASA905  For commercial airliners flying the similar MCO>DCA route, the flight time is typically right around 2 hours.
A commercial airliner is not the first thing I'd go to for comparison.  This is not a typical end-of-mission ferry flight, but still those fly significantly lower and slower than commercial flights.  We'll have to see about differences in flight rules (if any) that might allow for changes.

Only thing I've seen so far (unconfirmed) is 3.5 to 4 hours.


Ditto.

SCA is a dog with that thing strapped on its back! 3-4 hours, IMO. If you have a scanner, program the Washington center frequencies and start listening in around 9AM.

Offline dvsmith

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #53 on: 04/03/2012 08:40 PM »
jacqmans posted the media advisory that has a set time for ferry departure: 7 am local on the 17th.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24479.msg880001#msg880001

(As the advisory notes, departure will be televised on NASA TV.)


For those of us waiting anxiously in Washington, DC, the relevant tidbit is this:  "Tuesday, April 17 Discovery departs at first light (approximately 7 a.m.)"

We can confirm takeoff via NASA TV, and then follow NASA 905 on FlightAware. http://flightaware.com/live/flight/NASA905  For commercial airliners flying the similar MCO>DCA route, the flight time is typically right around 2 hours.

For those positioned on the National Mall and wanting to monitor the situation, there is free public Wi-Fi that is reportedly available from 3rd St to 14th St, including around NASM.  See http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/aroundthemall/2010/09/this-just-in-free-wi-fi-on-the-national-mall/.  Google Earth view: http://3ddc.dc.gov/dcnet/wifi/  A map of all free sites is available here: http://wifi.dc.gov/

When Enterprise was transported from KSC to Dulles, the travel time was just over 4 hours. (I wish I could remember the source, but I believe the SCA departed the SLF at around 11:30am on November 18, 1985 and arrived at Dulles shortly after 4pm).
« Last Edit: 04/03/2012 08:41 PM by dvsmith »

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #54 on: 04/03/2012 09:05 PM »
"Not too many pilots have any familiarity with overflying P-56 prohibited airspace, which is also quite close to DCA's northerly approach/takeoff lanes."

There is no "overflying" of P-56A or P-56B unless you are above FL180 (18,000ft). That comes straight off the Special Use Airspace Tab on the Baltimore-Washington VFR Terminal Area Chart along with the Washington Sectional Chart. There may be a one-time waiver granted for this flight - I have yet to see anything published at this time. If you would like to see the specifics on this airspace, you can go to skyvector.com, look for the Washington Sectional Chart, and locate the Special Use Airspace Tab. Also, the waiver process is very thoroughly explained on the FAA, TSA and AOPA sites.

Trust me, as a former commercial airline pilot, we are all very aware of "overflying" P-56. If you do, you will likely find yourself with an escort. Then you will possibly get to sit and think about things for 90 or so days. Two of my former co-workers at the airline got to sit for 90 days for an incorrect turn out of DCA.

Not trying to me rude or mean here, just trying to explain a few things. Putting my on flight instructor hat for a few minutes.

Offline jsmjr

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #55 on: 04/03/2012 09:16 PM »
There may be a one-time waiver granted for this flight - I have yet to see anything published at this time.

Clearly, not just any aircraft, even with a VIP on board can overfly the National Mall, but see http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/mar/HQ_M12-053_T-38_Flight_prt.htm 

If T-38s are going to do it at 1,500 feet, that can only be a prelude to the SCA.  We'll find out exactly where they go on Thursday, but my informed bet is on overflight (more or less) per US Secret Service permission to access P-56A.   

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #56 on: 04/03/2012 09:23 PM »
There may be a one-time waiver granted for this flight - I have yet to see anything published at this time.

Clearly, not just any aircraft, even with a VIP on board can overfly the National Mall, but see http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/mar/HQ_M12-053_T-38_Flight_prt.htm 

If T-38s are going to do it at 1,500 feet, that can only be a prelude to the SCA.  We'll find out exactly where they go on Thursday, but my informed bet is on overflight (more or less) per US Secret Service permission to access P-56A.   

Fine. Whatever you say. Just trying to explain general rules, regulations around P-56. Guess you are more knowledgeable about flying than I am with 9,000 plus hours of flight time. Sorry for posting.

Offline RamjetFDO

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #57 on: 04/03/2012 10:48 PM »
There were never any links that I am aware of, invitations were sent to Mercury Friendship 7 level and above members directly.

^^ This.

I'll be there and be taking tons of pictures - also at the Member's Preview viewing in the Udvar-Hazy setup on the 20th.  I'll post a link to my pictures the week after when I get home again.
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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #58 on: 04/04/2012 02:08 AM »
I'm planning on attending most of the festivities including the Breakfast Reception on 4/17 and the Special Preview on 4/20, will share as many photos as I can through my "Spot the Shuttle/Welcome Discovery" Facebook Page (link in my signature). I just joined this community but I'm looking forward to learn more and share info/photos/ideas/etc. Thanks!
Please join my "Spot the Shuttle - Welcome Discovery" page on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/198636436915360/

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Re: OV-103 Final Flight: Viewing (Going to Dulles)
« Reply #59 on: 04/04/2012 02:51 PM »
"Not too many pilots have any familiarity with overflying P-56 prohibited airspace, which is also quite close to DCA's northerly approach/takeoff lanes."

There is no "overflying" of P-56A or P-56B unless you are above FL180 (18,000ft). That comes straight off the Special Use Airspace Tab on the Baltimore-Washington VFR Terminal Area Chart along with the Washington Sectional Chart. There may be a one-time waiver granted for this flight - I have yet to see anything published at this time. If you would like to see the specifics on this airspace, you can go to skyvector.com, look for the Washington Sectional Chart, and locate the Special Use Airspace Tab. Also, the waiver process is very thoroughly explained on the FAA, TSA and AOPA sites.

Trust me, as a former commercial airline pilot, we are all very aware of "overflying" P-56. If you do, you will likely find yourself with an escort. Then you will possibly get to sit and think about things for 90 or so days. Two of my former co-workers at the airline got to sit for 90 days for an incorrect turn out of DCA.

Not trying to me rude or mean here, just trying to explain a few things. Putting my on flight instructor hat for a few minutes.

Thanks for the link. P-56A looks like it covers the Mall, Capitol and White House. P-56B is the Naval Observatory and VP residence. How many miles overlap of the Mall is there in P56-A? Hard to tell from the sectionals. But I'm thinking with the right photo angles (morning sun will be in the south-eastern sky), you could get some good shots of SCA and the Capitol if you just "skirted" the eastern edge of P-56A.

I don't expect SCA to go barreling straight down the National Mall at 1,000 AGL, but I'm still hopeful that somewhere near the Capitol would be a good viewing opportunity. Or possibly the Monument.
« Last Edit: 04/04/2012 02:52 PM by wolfpack »

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